A Duke in Shining Armor has a cover and a website page and everything

The cover for my latest book, scheduled for release on 28 November,  appeared on the online bookstores a while ago, but since I had no advance warning, and life here is busy, my website update didn’t happen simultaneously.

By now, if you’ve looked up A Duke in Shining Armor online, you’ve seen the synopsis that appears on the back cover. Now, though, it has its own page here on my website, where you can read an excerpt as well.

A Duke in Shining Armor is the first of a planned trilogy titled Difficult Dukes. This one is the Duke of Ripley’s story. But in it you’ll also meet the other two members of the trio known as Their Dis-Graces: the Dukes of Blackwood and Ashmont, whose stories I’ll tell in the next books.

For those who wonder if the Dressmakers will make an appearance: I set the book in 1833, a couple of years before the Dressmakers series (1835-1836). Since I'd taken that story arc as far as it would go, I wanted to start fresh. From the writing standpoint, it makes things simpler when I don’t have to worry about events in previous books interfering with or contradicting events in the plot of the current one. It's less stressful, too, if I don't have to account for characters from previous books. Still, you might recognize a name or or two from the Dressmakers books, and a young person whose life has included at least two aliases. For the most part, though, it’s all new people.

In a few weeks, I’ll be heading to England for an extended period of research and inspiration-seeking. If all goes well with the technology, you can expect me to report, though probably not as regularly as a less confused person would do.

If you haven’t already subscribed to the Loretta Chase website blog, you might want to consider it. Since my newsletters go out only once or twice a year, the blog is the best way to keep up-to-date with releases, appearances, adventures, and information that I hope will enhance your enjoyment of my books. The subscription link is in the upper right corner of the blog page.

 

Dukes Prefer Blondes German eBook now available

So, anybody who was worried about having her/his inbox flooded with Loretta Chase blog posts realizes she/he can cross that anxiety off the list.

It’s been over a month since the last one, but you may see a cluster in the next few days, as my website is updated to reflect latest developments.

Meanwhile, a quickie bit of news: I just received word that the Dukes Prefer Blondes eBook has been released in Germany.

You can get the details here at the CORA shop

or here at HarperCollins Germany.
 

 

 

All About Dukes

At long last, the manuscript for A Duke in Shining Armor is in the hands of the copy editor. It will wend its way back to me before too long, for a double check of technical matters, like inconsistencies; punctuation disputes; correct naming of people, places, and things; and goofy spellings.

I kind of like that phase of production because it allows me to let loose the insane grammarian in me. I kind of hate that phase of production because I change my mind about usages and nerdy points of grammar and such—though I will never give up my Oxford comma, which I grew up calling a serial comma, as in serial killer. Made it easy to remember.

The book is scheduled for release on 29 November. Descriptions are up at the various booksellers, e.g.—HarperCollins
Amazon,

Barnes & Noble,

iBooks

—and will appear here on the website after I get home from my travels and wade through the chaos.

A Duke in Shining Armor is the first of a three-book series dealing with a trio of disreputable dukes. You’ll meet the other two dukes in this book, and get a clue about their stories (and some others in the story arc) as well.

In other news:

While visiting the Atlanta Botanical Gardens (that's where the flowers came from) a short time ago, I received word that my 2016 historical romance, Dukes Prefer Blondes, is a Romance Writers of America®  RITA® Finalist in the Long Historical category. The Rita is the RWA version of an Oscar, and being a finalist is like being an Oscar nominee. In other words, it’s a very big deal, and I feel deeply honored. You can find the other finalists here.

Winners will be announced at the Annual Conference in July.

 

 

New Year, New Book

Happy New Year!

That’s a bit late, and so, by way of explanation, let me begin with P.G. Wodehouse’s Cocktail Time.
Told he must write another book, to build on the phenomenal success of his first, Sir Raymond (aka “Beefy”) Bastable responds,

“But I can’t, I tell you! It nearly killed me, writing Cocktail Time. You haven’t any conception what it means to sweat your way through one of these damned books. I daresay it’s all right for fellows who are used to it, but for somebody like myself…I’d much rather be torn to pieces with red-hot pincers.”

I’m here to tell you that even some of us who are used to it fully understand Beefy’s sentiments, although we may not be quite ready to be torn to pieces with red-hot pincers.

In short, as Wodehouse points out earlier in the book, “there is a lot more to this writing business than the casual observer would suppose.” I was comforted to learn that even he, who not only wrote hundreds of books but also screenplays, songs, magazine articles, short stories, and so on, at the rate of what seems to be 200 a day, did not write as effortlessly as his works would make it appear.

All of this is an overlong prelude to the question: When is the next book coming out?

Not being nearly as prolific as he was despite the difficulties he speaks of so poignantly, I am in the last stages of the Work-In-(snail-like) Progress. If I finish it within the next few weeks, it will be out in November of this year. I seem to have a prayer of accomplishing this. Please send as much positive thinking my way as you can. I am not ashamed to ask.

Images, from top: The Important Response, Florent Joseph Marie Willems, courtesy the Walters Art Museum; cover of Cocktail Time (scanned from my copy); telegram from Dorothy Parker to her editor, courtesy Letters of Note (with thanks to Susan Holloway Scott/Isabella Bradford, who first forwarded the telegram image to me).

Clicking on the image will enlarge it.  Clicking on the caption will take you to the source, where you can learn more and enlarge images as needed.

 

That Watch in Lord of Scoundrels

 

At a recent authors event, readers asked about the naughty watch a character buys in my book Lord of Scoundrels: Was this based on research or imagination?

If you Google “erotic watches,” you’ll know I wasn’t making this stuff up. So yes, the idea came from research—done in the days before Google existed, I ought to point out. These days, it would have been easier.

While I was aware of snuff boxes with erotic scenes inside the lid, the pornographic watch was news to me. I was especially intrigued to learn that watchmakers had been creating these devices as early as the late 1700s. This includes Abraham-Louis Breguet, a famous, highly-regarded watchmaker mentioned in Lord of Scoundrels.

Eric Bruton’s The History of Clocks & Watches offers a black and white illustration of a carriage watch, from which I developed the one in my book:

“It shows the time, day, date, and sidereal time, strikes the hours and quarters, and plays tunes on six bells. On the back a human figure in three parts keeps changing and below it some ‘curtains’ can be drawn aside to reveal an animated pornographic scene.” 

The watch was made in London in 1790.

Though it’s not like the watch shown in The History of Clocks and Watches, this one works more or less the same way: an innocent front, with an animated scene on the other side. Googling the subject will bring you quite a few examples, including one on YouTube.

Image (not erotic to my knowledge): Chevalier et cachet watch between 1790-1799 (gift of Liz and Peter Moser, 2006), courtesy Walters Art Museum.

A version of this post originally appeared at Two Nerdy History Girls.

Clicking on the image will enlarge it.  Clicking on the caption will take you to the source, where you can learn more and enlarge images as needed.